scribblemyname: (serenity)
This entry is part 70 of 70 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

February 28, 2014

This morning, I wrote 156 words puttering in my head from last night on Lovemark the Seasons, including another in-story poem. Rachelle is well-read.

So the trade paperback of Dowse and Bleed is available on Amazon. I still have to get all the other formats up: mass market and ebook to the various retailers. :grimaces: Later. I'm saving the whole book announcement post until then.

I'd like to get some good words on collab and on my actual assignment. I keep getting bogged down in author's notes and meta. And music. It's thecatisacritic's fault. She sent me "Poison and Wine" and I looked it up online the other day and have lost so many good hours since. I can't say wasted because seriously, the creative fire! Love their work.

Having a fandom moment:

Four: The Traitor by Veronica Roth

See all of the covers here.

March 1, 2014

Sabbath and unexpected late-night family time. Wrote a poem in my head and didn't get it written down, just memorized.

March 2, 2014

I owe y'all an end of the month post and challenge check-in. Tomorrow! Today, I helped my aunt move and still need to plunk in 2 hours on packing my own things, plus got back my beta for invisible treats (which resulted in 6 words worth of edits, wow), plus submitted the edited cover for the mass market of Dowse and Bleed. Oh, and finally wrote down that poem.

I owe a bunch of collaboration material. I owe my Invisible assignment. I owe posts about indie community and fandom. I owe a lot of stuff, 'kay?

I have also been failing miserably at the 7-sentence challenge so went back last night and wrote 257 words on, unexpectedly, a very late fandom gift separate from challenges.

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 419 words
  • Poetry: 16 lines | 99 words
  • Blog: 270 words

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (who i am)

So 2013, goodnight, goodbye
You were lovely and bright
You were terrible, my!

I loved you, I hated you
I scribbled the mess of you
Oh, 2013! Goodnight, goodbye!

End of the year post and all that demands a lot more out of me than I'm willing to give. The analytical brain was left in bed this morning and is still sleeping peacefully against my pillow. The rest of me, creative but lazily, has been puttering about today, wishing to join the analytical brain in pleasant dreams and instead working my tail off and getting little in the way of writing done. Which is a nice way of saying, expect a ramble. I'm rambly when I'm sleepy.

A Long Look Back

This was a busy year, full of good things and bad. On a personal level, I got a job, went permanent, had a falling out with someone once precious to me, lost my great-uncle, and have had ups and downs in my relationship with my sister. Nevertheless, I also had the sweetest Christmas season I can remember, starting with a Thanksgiving I actually enjoyed before all the cleanup was done.

This was the year I did the 365 Challenge and wrote original fiction as prolifically as when I dove back into fandom and whipped out 300K words of posted fanfic alone. I met a new storyworld and had so many delightful prompts and questions, I never could keep up with them all, but it produced "Dowse and Bleed" and I expect several forthcoming novelettes, novels, and collections. Additionally, I met a storyworld everybody who's read it has loved and know that it will do well if I can get it fleshed out in book format.

This was the year I did Nano—again—and failed. Again. Ah, well. :deep sigh:

This was the year I started a collaborative novel that stands more than a chance of succeeding and reaching those wonderful words, THE END. Also, I now own Scrivener. Quadruple awesome.

This was the year I moved out from sharing a room with my sister to having my own (godsend), my family blessed me with my own Samsung tablet (horrible distraction!), and the year I pulled together some actual songs to give as gifts using Finale (super fun).

This was the year I finally worked up the nerve to participate in Yuletide. If I hadn't veteraned in I Need My Fics, it never would have happened. It was wonderful, really wonderful. I loved my fics.

On the bookish front, I got my own copy of Jane Eyre now (yay!), The Left Hand of Darkness (I've been wanting to read this for forever), and Allegiant (see previous post for more on that). At some point, I might mull out how I feel about Le Guin's book, but in case I don't, let me just say it was amazing how the narrative had so many angles. The story disguises itself as Genly's story and in a very small, small way it is, but it's really Estraven's story, and the depth it takes us into the culture is amazing. I'm so glad I finally got to read this classic. Thanks, Yuletide bookswap!

Looking Forward

And next year? Next year, I'd like to write and publish, finish the Lena/Wesley book, finish fleshing out the heavier Kingdoms and Thorn and Vardin works that keep lying around, finish lithiumlaughter's fanfics "Everything is Blood" and "Body Heat," finish this collaboration with thecatisacritic, and maybe write some Divergent fanfic. I have that I must wait so long for the movie. :le sigh:

So thanks, last year, for being as big and complex and wonderful and challenging as you were and here's hoping the next year is big and wonderful for all of you. Happy New Year!

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (movie four)

So I was pleasantly surprised. It pays to go in with your expectations on the floor. I received a gorgeous gift story for Yuletide that explored Four post-Allegiant, and it convinced me to finally buy the book, which I read in a couple hours this morning (Friday). Allegiant redeemed Insurgent for me. It brought the world together, painfully perhaps, but well. As for plot holes, I found none large enough to drive a truck through, but then, I've been in comics fandoms where these issues are on a whole other level.

So here goes some meta, hitting point by point the issues I was worried about and the stuff that blew me away in this book. From the beginning, I went looking for spoilers because at the end of Insurgent, I felt there was logic fail, and I have little tolerance for that. Spoilers implied there would be plenty.

Evelyn

When we first met Evelyn in book two, several things were quickly established:

  • Evelyn loved Tobias.
  • As soon as she felt it safe, she reopened communication with him.
  • She felt betrayed by the factions specifically because of how they failed her in her personal relationships with Marcus and Tobias.
  • Every opportunity, she reached out to her son for reconciliation.
  • She was jealous of Tobias' affection and loyalty.

Which is my way of saying, Roth extensively established the background for Evelyn's choosing Tobias over the city. It was beyond believable.

Caleb

When I wrote up my Insurgent reactions, I noted then that I understood how he could get swept into Jeanine's mindset even though I hated him for it. The interactions between Tris and Caleb in Allegiant are spot-on. Caleb felt guilty and terrible but had been willing to sacrifice his family for what he truly believed was the greater good. I get that.

Because of that, the fallout here was perfect. Caleb did need redemption, but the suicide mission wouldn't have given it to him. It would have taken away the time he needed to do the actual hard work of redemption, as it says later in the book of Peter,

"change is difficult, and comes slowly, and that is the work of many days strung together in a long line until the origin of them is forgotten."

That's what Caleb needs and I'm glad Tris gave him the chance to get it. As soon as I read the scene where everyone looks at him and guilts him into "volunteering," all of my insides were screaming this isn't right, this isn't a choice. It's guilt, cold and hard and simple. Tris realized that and finally admitted it and remembered that she promised she wouldn't have walked him to his own execution. If she had allowed Caleb to go through with it, she would have done something horribly despicable and gone against every good part of her there was.

In short, I wasn't sure if the build-up would be well done or not. It was. I believed in the way things played out. It was necessary and not even a little bit. It was downright coldly necessary.

Speaking of...

The Death Scene

So someone remarked about how she fights off the death serum and gets taken down by a bullet. WTF?

Again, I get it. After Nita, there was no way on heaven or earth I would have believed there wasn't someone in there guarding. She would've gotten shot at point blank range in the Weapons Lab or outside of it after she deployed the memory serum. Guards just outside the door, remember? Okay, memory serum might have saved her, but I really wouldn't have believed in it. This was a suicide mission, flat-out. I wouldn't have believed in anyone's survival going into that.

It was beautifully done. I hate the result, but I believed in it. 'Nuff said.

Tobias

So there were also those that thought Four's characterization suffered. I didn't believe that going in and I'm further unimpressed by the sentiment coming out. When you're not reading the thoughts behind his actions, he is just as strong and uncertain and hurting and stoic as portrayed in book number one. When you are reading the thoughts in his head, ignore them for a moment and read what he does and says on the outside. Yep. Still Four.

You don't get abused for sixteen years without getting broken. You don't go through your fear landscape and cringe like a child from a horrific image of your father and have that feeling go away a few months later just because you're in the middle of a war. In short, just because we feel his fear doesn't mean we're not seeing the exact same thing we saw before: someone who is very afraid of what few things he's afraid of, so much he has no room for other fears, and ignores his fear when deciding to act.

I was reminded a lot of the first few scenes in Divergent where Tris looks at him and recognizes the instability in him, the mercurial impulse he often squelches. We see it in Allegiant, and I respect him no less.

The Factions

I always loved the idea of the factions, though obviously they didn't work out well in practice, but they seemed to improve the cities where they were implemented. Think about it. It was focus, something the Bureau had little of. The Faction system pushed GDs to focus on the virtue inherent in their tendencies instead of the weakness. They focused on the good that came from their genes and how to use that good to its best and fullest to better their society and lives. In short, factions maximized the benefit of their genetic tendencies and helped to minimize the side effects.

Genetic Damage—Oh and Peter

Peter was the perfect example of someone who was truly genetically damaged. If he had been born Dauntless, he would have had a chance. That was his aptitude, that was his genetics, and that showed when he took the memory serum.

Allegiant redeemed Peter for me because he described so well the difficulty of himself. He grew up in Candor, which promoted honest living, which would encourage him to do what he wanted to. But what he wanted to do was bad.

"I'm sick of doing bad things and liking it and then wondering what's wrong with me. I want it to be over. I want to start again."

That is genetic damage in a nutshell. He had genetic tendencies that he was not raised to suppress, but he also knew something was wrong with him. So yeah, I buy this world. I buy that there really was an issue which caused the Purity Wars, though it obviously got skewed toward the victors.

And then there's the cities. Do they make logical sense to me? Oddly, yes.

Genetic manipulation took time to "take" so to speak. Generations. So they inserted the corrected/restored DNA into those in the experiments and then had to wait out the generations until that manipulation "took." In the meantime, the struggles GDs went through weren't going to just go away in the waiting, so they gave them cities and then got all high and mighty and forgot it was people they were trying to help, not a faceless "problem."

So yeah, I get it. I get it.

Summary

The book was extraordinarily satisfying and I reread parts and almost bought the hardcover at King Soopers, but I really want all three in paperback. I don't care for hardcover, too bulky, but I adore paperbacks. So there's that.

It's the first book in a long time that made me want to write. It also finally cleared up why I couldn't seriously and deeply fanfic in this world. I apparently needed an entire arc. Now, I've got so many plot bunnies, I expect a monster if I don't keep my head on original fiction.

That's my summary. I can't say I loved the book, but I can say I enjoyed it and was satisfied by it and am very glad I finally read it.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (mild rant: like)

And let's face it: usually I don't mind spoilers. After Insurgent, I did want to see what I was getting into. I'm glad I did. I'm going to wait until lithiumlaughter or in_the_blue share what they thought, because I have a real problem with logic issues (read: HUGE problem) and I'm on the fence with whether I'll take the finale very well.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (raining story and song)
This entry is part 7 of 31 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So I had a late night last night that terminated with the end of my deep virus scan at 3 o'clock this morning. To say I'm feeling only minimally inspired is putting it mildly. On one hand, I think the story from inferno, also known as "Dowse and Bleed" is finally done. I sent it back off to my beta late, late last night and she graciously consented to give it another gander. Thank you, Lord, for an awesome beta.

On Betas

And on that, in_the_blue is a contributing author to two anthologies, including Dragonthology. You can check out her website as Gwynne Jackson on WordPress.

I have been fascinated in a probably-too-involved sort of way at Elle Casey's blog post about action in story and… betas. She considers being a stranger to be a requirement because friends hold back. It's human nature. I consider being a stranger to be a great way for me not to know your reading style and my beta (love you!) does not hold back on me and I don't hold back on her, and that MATTERS.

I'm not afraid of getting hurt by my editor. I'm a writer; my fears are significantly more predictable: that my story sucks, that it doesn't make sense, that I'll never finish something worthwhile, etc., etc. I'd rather my beta tell me nicely to go back to the drawing board than have a reader tell me I should have quit while I was ahead. But let's face it: it's the real world. I'm gonna get a healthy dose of both.

And on that, thank you also lithiumlaughter for being the queen of all things poetry and for all your help as a new-to-my-fiction reader of the anthology. Between the two of my betas, I think I might be able to salvage what I'd hoped for from that mess. (I say 'mess' with all due affection).

In case you hadn't noticed, I get rather rambly when I'm tired, and I'm tired, so this is rambly, but I felt it strong enough to want it off my chest before trying to pull together anything fictive. I don't thank my betas half enough and I still haven't finished that Niko + Collie fanfic, though it keeps accusing me when I flip through it in my WIP file. It's just there's this little original fiction addiction I seem to be going through right now… Right. Yeah. I'm a mess at staying disciplined with these things.

On Reading

So brief reviews of what I've been reading lately.

The Transfer

"The Transfer" is a short story by Veronica Roth about Tobias Eaton transferring from his birth faction, Abnegation, to the one that would hurt his father the most, Dauntless, where he earned a new name on his first day. We see his father/son relationship and I don't care how old this sort of material is, I was already invested in the character and the sculpture and the details and the characterization made this one hit me hard. We see the terrible ambivalence Tobias has toward his world, unable to find where he fits because there is only one thing he knows and it's the most terrible part of all. We see Tori and Amar and the fearscape. In short, I loved this and intend on picking up the next three shorts as soon as they're released.

With Fate Conspire

I recently reread With Fate Conspire by Marie Brennan. It's the fourth and final book of the Onyx Court series, historical fiction deeply interwoven with a fictional faery London that is terrible, realistic, and wonderfully fascinating all at once. I own this book because I made the winning Livejournal icon for it for the author and so got an advanced review copy: white cover, specs on the outside, and all. If anyone was wondering, I want the entire series in their proper covers. I nominated this book for Yuletide, even though it was a brand new fandom on AO3. That is my intro to say how much I love this book. Now, to the details.

There are really three stories going on here. Though the third one doesn't take prominence until the end, the echoes of it are felt throughout. Echoes? What am I saying? The earthquakes of it are rending the fabric of the world around our two protagonists, whose primary foci are quite personal. London is shot through with iron and the underground trains are being run right through the Onyx Hall. Faery London is in its death throes and while fighting desperately to hold on, see little or no way to save the Hall or their presence in London.

In the middle of this, Eliza is an Irish woman who as a girl befriended a skriker, a faery creature, then was betrayed when he stole away her friend and love, Owen. She is on a hunt through London to find the faeries that are bombing the railroads and make them give Owen back. The other protagonist is the skriker she once befriended who is caught up in his own desperate fight for survival, bound to a cruel master who breaks people for the sake of breaking them, and who may hold the only key to saving the Hall.

I love deep worldbuilding, sprawling stories, juxtaposed timelines, technical details. If you don't, this book isn't for you. If you do, this book delivers. I keep reading it and rereading it because it's the fascinating interplay of faery and human, Irish and Fenians, the church and the Special Police, science and magic, survival and sacrifice, the personal and the epic. I love this book.

Spots the Space Marine

Another book I just reread—again. Written by M.C.A. Hogarth, it's one of those awesome serials that was snippeted and scened (in chronological order) all the way through a sprawling epic with an intimate, personal look at an ensemble cast. Warning: this book is not served well by the ebook format. I could. not. read it until I got a print copy through the Kickstarter project. After I got the hefty book in my hot little hands (yes, it gets heavy), I fell wholely in love.

You have Spots, properly Magda Guitart, who just got shipped in from a part-time desk job in the Marine reserves joining a squad that's still reeling from the loss of many of their people. Then, there's Claws who takes her under wing and in turn comes under her wing as they make acquaintances and then friends with the resident alien "Fiddler," Samuel-Colt, a weapons-engineer, music-expressive bug with a huge sense of humor. Turns out, this depot off in the middle of the nowhere is in a hotbed of a crab warzone and their relationship with the Fiddler is their only way to survive as the battles get hotter and more devastating.

And Spots dances. In body armor. With a singing, cutting-edged shield. I cannot begin to do this book enough justice. Read it.

Additionally…

If I were a good girl, I'd tell you more about thecatisacritic's work right now, but I'll save that for when I have more energy to do it justice. So my comments were less than awesome, but they exist. And I love the new story.

In related news, ran across a wonderful resource dealing with the legal status of fandom and self-regulation within the community. I am a firm believer in fandom (duh) and treat my original fiction as a canon with some self-generated fanfic and a community approach.

Wasn't I supposed to be writing…?

Yeah. That. :coughs: Okay, pick a prompt I guess and fire away. Let's just run with the theme of chairs and laps and hugs for a bit, okay?

Paused to yak comfortably to thecatisacritic over her ficlets and mine. And Shift.

I might go to bed when I get home, which would mean no more scribbling.

Counts

  • Total Fiction: 799 words - Month to Date: 10,403 words
  • Total Blog: 1314 words - Month to Date: 3439 words

365 Challenge

  • 202/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Little Girl Reminders – 542 words
  • 203/365 – Seven Days Ficlet: The Joys of Motherhood – 257 words

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (bookish)

I am now the proud possessor of Insurgent. Will give reading report next week.

They’ll know next week if Awake is cancelled or renewed. Leonard Chang answered me himself. :crosses fingers:

I highly recommend Shattered and M.C.A. Hogarth for some excellent short stories.

I have three Tumblr blogs now. Well, four, but that one’s private. Worldbuilding and personal, fandom, and Vardin. I’m officially nuts.

I’ve got another fic for my Safe reading list, but nothing for the original novels. :headdesk: Will post reading lists soon.

Speaking of which, I’m not reading Insurgent this week.

:headdesk:

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (divergent: factions)

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

So…

I’ve read where Veronica Roth says that by the end of Insurgent, Tris will not be the same girl she was at the end of Divergent. I think this is necessary, and Roth has never shirked from necessary choices. Tris can’t be the same. At the end of Divergent, she had discovered her own strength and yet, she had also found her own invincibility. Her choices have been clear. Yes, she killed Will. Yes, she did not forgive Al. Yes, she let her mother die. Why? Because she could see that these choices were necessary, whether or not she could articulate the reasons.

But this is war. In Insurgent, we are promised that faction lines will cease to be the defining factor of good and evil, that those who seem good or evil will turn out to be otherwise, that reality will screw them all over as reality is wont to do, and this is something Roth has never flinched away from. I expect the Tris at the end of Insurgent to be different: she won’t be a girl, but a woman. She won’t be an optimist, but a realist. She won’t be invincible, but she sure as anything won’t be vulnerable.

Actually, I’m quite looking forward to it.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (mood: fire)

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I suppose I’m supposed to be thrilled that it’s only 6 more days to Insurgent, but I just found out that the makeup company that charged my card eighty dollars I never intended on spending isn’t actually going to refund that money until next month. They had said this week. There goes being able to buy the book for a bit.

:growls:

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (maybe love: four and tris)

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Best Divergent Four/Tris quote ever:

Peter’s right, she’s not pretty, that word is too small. She is not like the girls I used to stare at, all bend and curve and softness. She is small but strong, and her bright eyes demand attention. Looking at her is like waking up.

— Four, from “Free Four: Tobias Tells the Story”

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (maybe love: four and tris)

Divergent by Veronica Roth

A scene from Divergent in Four’s perspective and written by Veronica Roth. How could I not choose this for 8 days ’til Insurgent?

http://www.facebook.com/DivergentSeries?sk=app_276313732461376

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (rogue mind)

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I just had a shocking revelation: this is the first book I don’t want spoilers for. I am a serious, read-the-spoilers-and-call-it-good kind of girl. If I can’t enjoy rereading a book, I won’t enjoy reading it. I like spoilers. Big time. I like to read the whole book as summary first.

Not Insurgent. And I have no idea why.

Huh.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (you think I know anything about tears)

Comment replies tomorrow or Monday.

What is my number one worry about Insurgent? Roth will break the world beyond repair.

I love angst. I hate tragedy. With a few minor exceptions, apparently. Like “To Go Not to Lethe,” a now lost-to-us tale by mesoc that always made me cry ’cause it couldn’t be fixed. I like worlds that can be awful, terrible, horrible, but with an ability left to the characters to transcend somehow.

I want Tris to make it. And I’m just not entirely sure she will without too much damage. She’s tough enough to have a chance.

Barely.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (you think I know anything about tears)

Thoughts on the tragedy of Al and Tris in Divergent. I was requested to write an Al/Tris fic over the holidays, and by chance, it’s one of the ones that fell by the wayside in the realities of too much life to do them all. I forewarned the requester that angst and tragedy was probably on the menu, and they did request nontragic.

But Al and Tris are tragic. Why?

It’s unrequited. It’s the guy that’s so sweet and you care about so much but can never return the feelings. It’s the guy that’s so hurt and just wants to put you both on the same level again. He’s scared. He’s one step away from factionless, and he chooses death instead because he can’t even have your friendship anymore. It’s the wrong choice you never meant to make. It’s horror and pain and fear and grief for all the good that once was and never could be again.

I don’t want to write this fic to be honest. There is no rightness to smooth over the pain. It just hurts, and I’m not a masochist. I’m glad Roth wrote it the way she did. It was real and honest and raw, and so is the book, but I just can’t go there again.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (divergent: ideals)

Eleven things I hope to see in Insurgent:

  1. Christina’s reaction to Will’s death.
  2. Something more about Natalie Prior. I know she’s deceased now, but…
  3. Some family interaction with Caleb and Andrew.
  4. Four/Tris. Come on. How could I not?
  5. What Veronica Roth means when she says Tris is so different by the end of the book.
  6. Come-uppance for Eric.
  7. Some real reactions from the Amity faction to everything on.
  8. The whole idea behind guarding the fence. I’ve got ideas, but I want to see the reality.
  9. Marcus and Tobias interaction or resolution. Talk about cutting tension there.
  10. A good Erudite member. Besides Caleb.
  11. Candor unhappy about the deceit of the Erudite.

To be honest, I’m not counting on seeing all these things. But I’m hopeful.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (raining story and song)

Favorite new Insurgent quote, from chapter 38:

Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (divergent: ideals)

7 Things I love about Divergent:

  1. The parents matter. They affect the plot, the story, the characters, and yet Tris is still her own person. Just the way it should be.
  2. Tris is a product of her family. She has a father who knows how to think, a mother who is divergent and dauntless, a brother who knows how to strategize and do the necessary, even if it hurts someone he cares about. She fits. Her family is a part of her, and when she goes to save the day, they’re a part of it.
  3. Four. Let me count the ways… I could go on about him forever.
  4. The writing. It’s vivid. It sucks you in. I read those first 100 free pages and promptly plunked down $11 bucks to finish reading the book that night on my computer. The longer sample, by the way, the more likely I am to buy the book. Just saying.
  5. The intimacy. Yes, that. The Four/Tris relationship was built up properly. It wasn’t about sex or physical attraction, though that was present. Mildly. It was about really falling deeper and deeper in fascination with each other and their minds and then wanting to express that physically. Intimacy is not sex.
  6. The ideas. Tris is really more philosophical than you’d think at first glance. She not only thinks things through, but also rationalizes, analyzes, considers. She peers at her own self and tries to figure out what makes her tick. This, despite being raised Abnegation. In fact, I think that’s why she does it. She thought that if she could figure out herself, she could change herself and become selfless at last. Uh… No.
  7. The secondary characters. They have their own lives, loves, hopes, dreams, tragedies. They don’t make Tris the center of their world or even share the center of their world with Tris. You can feel the world behind the tantalizing sketches and know how much pain they will experience, even without Tris noticing.

I can hardly wait for more. 14 days, y’all.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (three ravens)

So someone said something on Tumblr re: Four/Tris that I flat disagree with. They couldn’t forgive Four for telling Tris she’s not pretty.

Pretty.

Oddly enough, that made my blood boil.

Why is it you can write an ugly male character and have someone fall in love with him and that’s great? Why is it that a girl has to be pretty or beautiful to be considered attractive or desirable? Why is it that this double standard is perpetuated by women?

Tris is not pretty. It is well-established by the book. Yet, she’s capable and self-aware and confident and dauntless and desirable. She’s got an honest lover who tells her the truth, that it’s who she is that attracts him and not how she looks, who wants to find out how much it takes to break her, for crying out loud, to scare her just to see her wake up.

So, Tris isn’t pretty and no one cares. Good.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (read to live)

So there are only a handful of books I truly love, and for some reason, Divergent is one of them. Made me think about why.

  1. It’s a book that does not flinch, but does not flaunt. For some reason, a lot of fiction nowadays glories in its atrocities. It’s graphic, it’s violent, it gorges our senses and desensitizes us to the horror it’s portraying. There’s a word for this: gratuitous. A scene is far more chilling for what it doesn’t say, rather than what it does. I want to understand clearly and readily the depths of what is going on, even if that understanding is truly terrible, but I don’t want to be stuck with images in my mind I can never unsee. I don’t want to be traumatized by a book. Fear is not healthy. Fear is not a tool to wield on oneself.
  2. It’s a book with iceberg worldbuilding. The book is internally consistent and evokes far more detail than it had time or willingness to explore. I want to live in a setting when I’m reading a book, and Divergent does that for me.
  3. It’s a book with powerful characters. Not only do I love them, they make sense. They are painted as whole beings on the page, even the small roles, such as Tris’ mother whose name is only mentioned once. There is nuance and depth and room to grasp the character without much telling involved. Four’s main appeal I think is that when he lets Tris in, he lets us in. We never see the world through his eyes, so he is as much a mystery to us as another person could ever be. What we see of him, he chooses to show us.
  4. It’s a book that does not characterize harshness, cruelty, or killing as noble, good, or desirable, though the last is occasionally necessary and probably will become more so. Tris calls her own descent into cruelty a weakness. I want a book that calls good ‘good’ and evil ‘evil.’ It is rare that I read a new book any more that does.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (divergent: factions)

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Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

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